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Blended threat

Blended threat

(also hybrid threat)

Blended threat definition

A blended threat is a type of cyberattack that combines multiple methods and techniques in order to exploit vulnerabilities of the target network or system. Hackers might integrate different attack vectors, such as virus worms, network intrusion, malware, and even social engineering, to maximize their attack success. Blended threats are hard to detect because they can simultaneously manipulate and leverage different attack vectors.

See also: spyware, anti-malware, ransomware, Smurf attack

Blended threat examples

Watering hole attacks with drive-by downloads: Attackers hijack and compromise frequently visited websites with malicious code. When users visit the websites, they lead them to the drive-by download of malicious software that later infects their devices.

Malware-infected phishing emails: Attackers send emails that contain malicious attachments and links. When victims open the attachments or click the link, malware is downloaded and implemented into their system.

Distributed Denial of Servis with malware propagation: These attacks are executed with botnets. Botnets are networks of compromised devices and are designed to launch DDoS attacks on targeted systems. These botnets release malware that contaminates other devices and expands itself, increasing the scale of the attack.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Advanced Persistent Threats are constructed of various attack vectors, such as spear-phishing emails, zero-day exploits, and social engineering, to gain access to the target network. Once they penetrate the system, attackers try to remain undetected for an extended period. That way, they steal valuable data, conduct surveillance, and modify the system for further exploitation.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security